April 10, 2004
IRVINE, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara salvaged the finale of this weekend's Big West opening three-game series against No. 10 UC Irvine with a 8-2 victory at Anteater Ballpark on Saturday afternoon. The win marks the first victory for the Gauchos over a ranked team this season and improves their record to 21-12 after dropping games one and two of the series on Thursday and Friday.
Right-handed sophomore Steve Morlock (6-4) won his fourth consecutive outing after tossing an effective five innings allowing just two earned runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked two. Freshman shortstop Chris Valaika led the Gauchos at the plate, going 2-for-5 with three RBI including his fifth home run of the year in the eighth inning.
UCSB scored single runs in the second, third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth innings while putting up a two-spot in the eighth. The Gauchos out-hit the Anteaters 15-9 and committed no errors.
UCSB, who had struggled against UCI starters in games one and two of the series, finally got to the Anteater bullpen today as the Gauchos touched relievers Michael Koehler and Jimmy Alstot for five runs in four innings.
Gaucho right-fielder Matt Wilkerson finished with three hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Third baseman Nate Sutton, after being held hitless in the series' first two games, broke out for a 2-for-6 performance including a run scored.
The Gauchos are now 1-2 in Big West play as UCI drops to 2-1 in conference.